Athletes compete in regionals, States to end season; Swimmers relish opportunities to dive into action

Ben Iampieri, Copy Editor

     The NH swim team went to regionals and States, where the boys placed sixth and the girls placed fourth. Overall, the team placed fifth in regionals. The boys got 15th in States, and the girls got 24th.

     “I was really proud of how the team did at Regionals. It was super cool to see the hard work from the season pay off for everyone,” freshman Kendall Chandler says. “The practices leading up to regionals were very focused and it was so clear that we had each put so much effort into doing everything we could in the time we had to perfect our strokes.”  The freshman added,  “Personally, I was frustrated with my performance because I did not swim my goal time, but it was still a PR and I managed to get sixth in the region, so it was a solid way to end my season.”

     Starting with regionals, for the 200 freestyle, junior Michael O’Leary placed first in the men’s and junior Val Angulo placed sixth. “Regionals was fun,” O’Leary says. They both qualified for states and went on to place seventh and 18th, respectively. “States was a lot of fun,” he starts. “I really liked the pool at UMD and hanging out with the team between events.”

     Senior Ben Iampieri placed fifth in the 50 freestyle and sixth in the 100 freestyle, qualifying for States in both events. Sophomore James Cassidy placed seventh in 100 freestyle, qualifying as an alternate in States. Iampieri placed 16th and 23rd in the 50 and 100.

     Angulo placed fifth in the 500 freestyle to make States, then went on to place 19th. “I felt like regionals were probably my worst performance of the season, but somehow I made it to states, and at states I had the best performance of the season,” Angulo explains. “I had the chance to PR in all my events, and I did just that.” 

     The men’s 200 freestyle relay consisting of Cassidy, junior Kyle Difilippo, O’Leary, and Iampieri placed third, securing a spot in states. They placed ninth in states.

     The women’s 200 freestyle relay consisting of freshman Sophia Bonincontri, senior Jenna Reed, junior Jordyn  Bell, and Angulo, placed fifth to go to states. “Regionals was fun and exciting, I dropped time in most of my events,” Reed comments. They placed 14th in States.

     “What I liked most about [states] was socializing with my friends and getting hyped up with them,” Angulo says.

     O’Leary got a regional record in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:01.87, then went on to place fifth at States.   The men’s 400 freestyle relay of the same swimmers placed second to secure another spot at states. The girls 400 relay, also of the same swimmers, placed third to secure a spot at states. They placed 10th and 16th, respectively. “I enjoyed the states,” Reed starts. “This year was my first time actually swimming at States and I was very nervous, but both of the relays dropped time.”

     “Meeting swimmers from other teams was also a really cool aspect of the meets, especially the ones towards the end of the season,” Chandler explains. “As you lined up in the clerk, of course everyone had the same nervous but excited energy that made it super easy to talk to them and make cool connections.”

     Chandler commented that her “favorite part of the meets was probably being surrounded by [her] team and being able to cheer other swimmers on. The team is so sweet and supportive and because of it, all our meets were super fun and high energy,” she says.

     “I’m pretty happy with the season,” O’Leary says. “I wish I had done a little better in my 100 breast, but overall it was good.”

     “This season was really good,” Reed says. “All my times dropped a lot from last year. I loved being able to hang out with friends this season and cheer them on.”

     “I am content with this season because I improved from my last and tried out different events,” Angulo says. “I am so ready for next season to start because I want to improve again, and I also just like swimming.”